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365 Challenge

Filtering by Tag: Resolution

Job recap; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Wesley Skinner

Job is a great book for my generation, a generation that wants answers now! This is the microwave generation and one that doesn't wait long enough to see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Take an engine, some seats, an air conditioner, and a radio; separately they function and have purpose, but put them together the right way( with other stuff) and you have a car. Something that involves all of the other mechanisms but in combination makes something else altogether. I wonder when Henry Ford invented the car, if he ever had in mind what we see today, or what problems may have led to progress. The "Model T" was no "Porsche". 

Now, put yourself in Job's shoes. Faithful to God. Good to other people. Blessed by God. Then, lost his wealth, livelihood, family, and comfort all in a few moments. Berated with accusations from his "friends" about his alleged sin. His wife tells him to curse God and die. We get to look at whole picture, knowing that God is showing Satan that he cannot win. But in the middle of it all, while Job kept honoring God, he wanted answers. At long last God speaks and helps Job see that he has a limited viewpoint. He doesn't understand everything.  

What if Job did know? Do you think it would have changed how difficult the situation was? I think Job knew that God was good and that his love was unchanging. I think knowing that truth kept Job's faith alive. Maybe we have hard circumstances, I doubt harder than Job's. If our hope rests in God's goodness, while circumstances may change, His love never fails. Often I don't understand why life is hard, but I know, just like Joseph in Genesis, and Job now, God's plan is good, but sometimes not easy or the way we would choose it to be. If we could only see the whole instead of focusing on the parts. 

Forgiveness(Gen 32-36)

Wesley Skinner

Forgiveness seems like the hardest thing. It's hard to give forgiveness. It's hard to receive forgiveness. This section shows us a very overlooked part of one verse, that is very powerful. 

Let's face it, up to this point, Jacob has been anything but up-standing. From birth, there was the whole, race out of the womb thing with his brother. He made Esau sell him his birth right for some soup(wierd story). Then he tricked his father into blessing him instead of Esau. This is a sibling rivalry! Even when Jacob goes to Laban, he is still dishonest. Not really the guy I would choose as a father of the faith. But God does. 

Fast forward now to Jacob's return from Laban, he is faced with the sudden reality that when he last saw Esau, he was ready to kill him. You begin to see Jacob start to panic. He schemes and tries to figure out how to satiate esau's wrath. And at the end of his rope, he does what all people do, he prays. Scripture says he wrestled with God all night long. He would not stop until God did something. Have you ever had that kind of burden? The kind where you lose sleep? Utterly dependent on God to move? 

Finally, the brothers are face to face. Jacob, humbled. Esau, forgiving. And here comes my favorite line, Gen 33:10b "For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me." Jacob just saw the face of God. But he says seeing the forgiveness of his brother is like seeing the face of God. And he's right, forgiveness is beautiful. This looks like a story we see Jesus tell later on. A younger brother runs away and comes back to the father humbly and in need of forgiveness.

We Never see Jacob ask for forgiveness or apologize. We never see Esau bring up the offense. It's forgiveness with no strings attached. No holding anything over his head. That type of unconditional forgiveness is like seeing the face of God. Forgiving others even if they never ask for it is a demonstration of grace. The type of reconciliation only God can bring. 

Anyone you need you demonstrate God's forgiveness to? Anyone wronged you that you need to show grace? Jacob tells us that forgiveness and acceptance after wronging someone is like seeing the face of God. And that guy would know!

 

The beginning: talking animals and plot(Gen 1-3)

Wesley Skinner

The bible begins unlike any other book, there was nothing and by the very words of God there was something. Creation, man made in the image of God, then rebellion. 

Genesis is probably my favorite book of the bible. It moves quickly and gives you only what you need to know, then slows down to zoom in on sections of real importance. Which is great for me to stretch my imagination. I look at creation, see God speak, things appear then questions come to my mind. Like 'what was created first, chicken or egg?'. After creation we get no timeline and God said be fruitful and multiply, but after the fall God increased pain in childbirth, so it makes me wonder, were there children that had already been born in Eden from Adam and Eve. My imagination takes me all kinds of places with wild speculations that have very little to do with anything of real importance. 

One of my favorite things to speculate about is the talking serpent. It didn't come as a shock to Eve that the serpent could talk. And when God confronts Adam in his sin He asks "who told you that you are naked" the options are kinda small for "who" unless God might be referring to the animals as who not what. Who to me connotes personhood and speaking is a characteristic of personhood. Paired with the fact that until the flood people were vegetarians. Makes my speculation run wild that animals could possibly speak until after the flood. Who knows!? These are the mysteries that God felt we didn't need details for in Genesis. 

Mysteries that we have, made plain to us from the beginning, are purpose, conflict, plot, and resolution. 

Purpose. From the onset of Genesis we see our creator God, in need of nothing, yet create intelligent beings in His image with a desire to have relationship. God is personal with Adam. He didn't just set Adam on this rock and start it spinning. God walked with Adam in the garden. We also see that man was not intended to live in isolation, but in community, with God and with his wife. 

Conflict. The fall. We see man's perfect relationship with God broken when He ignores the one rule God gave him. 

Plot. The deceiver, Satan, is introduced. Because of the fall there is hatred(enmity) put between Satan and the "seed" of woman. Here we get a great foreshadowing of the struggle that will remain constant between man and evil until ultimately, the seed of woman will crush the head of the serpent, but the serpent will strike the heel. Satan and sin will remain a stumbling block until Jesus comes to crush the power and penalty of sin. 

Resolution. God foreshadows even more of His story in Genesis 3. There is a penalty of separation from God because of sin. Sin shows man his shame and instinctively man tries to cover his shame by his own methods. But it doesn't work. It takes Gods doing to cover the shame of man. God himself offers the first sacrifice for sin. He kills the innocent to cover the guilty. 

That is why I love Genesis. What are some things that stood out to you as you read? What a great start to the bible and the year!